25 November 2008

Mr Tan To Run For Election

An online petition has been set up to support Mr Tan Kin Lian to run for Presidential Election. You can read more about him in his own website or elsewhere in the internet.

Initially, I had wanted to sign up the petition in support but hesitated when I read that he "will only do it if enough people want [him] to lead. If Singaporeans want change, they must have a stake in it and show their commitment by putting down their names. [He] cannot do this without strong support' (Straits Times, 23 Nov 2008) and he requires a 100,000 signatures.

Someone by the name of smallvoice585 commented in The Online Citizen. My hesitation to put my name in the petition is consistent with the last paragraph of smallvoice585 comment.

A great leader should first and foremost, have a vision, a set of beliefs and commit himself to the cause. People who share similar vision and beliefs will gather in support. Asking for support first is almost like saying "I'm not sure if my plans work, what do you think? Should I press ahead? Will you support me?".

Mr Tan did respond to smallvoice585 and explained his reasons for the 100,000 signatures. I'll leave you to decide if he had explained clearly enough. I'm still not certain exactly what he is trying to do.

In any case, I do wish to see more people running for election, be it GE or PE. I think that Singapore has a lot of talent to offer but simply not enough who are committed and prepared to face public scrutiny. I wish to be able to vote and cast my ballot to the person I know who is the most capable. I do not wish to enjoy a one day "holiday" because my estate is a walkover. I do not wish to vote for a candidate because everyone else tells me this is the right one or that is the wrong one and I know absolutely nothing about him/her.

06 November 2008

What Do They Have In Common?

Recently, I read about a certain undergrad in the local mainstream paper who wanted to buy a $4000 Chanel bag with her first paycheck and thinks her friend "who is left with $20 to last until the end of the month, is silly to consider taking up a part-time job to earn some extra cash." Tsk, tsk, tsk... I said to wifey, "What a spoilt brat!" Later in the week, this undergrad stood up and claimed in her blog that she had been misquoted and she is really not the spoilt brat as the press made her out to be.

Some years back, there was a poly student who lost her mobile phone and later discovered that video recordings (stored in her lost phone) of her making out with her b/f went into the internet.

What has these two girls got to do with one another? Nothing! Other than both were much talked about in the local cyberspace, they are not related (at least not that I know of) and their acts are also not related. As far as I'm concerned, there's this someone who is a spoilt brat/there's this someone who did not report accurately (depending on whose side of the story you stand by) and there's this someone who rather immoral/careless (depending on how liberal you are).

Yes, there's always someone, somewhere out there who did/did not do something and hit the head lines. Their acts, whether we support, encourage, condone, condemn, agree, disagree... is real life learning materials for our children. Whenever I read such news, be it from mainstream media or otherwise, I seldom focus on the name (unless s/he is someone I know). I do not see any value in remembering the names. It is the act that is worth remembering. It is the act that is worth the education material. And it is the act that I will usually talk about with people I know. When we start to focus on the issues and not the person, there'll be less hurt, less personal attacks and hopefully less libel suites.

So to me, it doesn't matter if AL is a spoilt brat or not... what matters is any undergrad who thinks that his/her very first paycheck is anything more than $4000 is well unrealistic. It doesn't matter if TM is immoral or not but someone who records very intimate and personal video of themselves is being careless and to lose that video is being very very careless (did I say this ape's vocab is limited?)

Talk about the act... condemn or support the act but avoid the person, because "person" can change.